How to Respond to a Weird Interview Question (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

My younger brother, Matt, has been searching for a new job lately (note: his current boss is aware of this or else I would not mention it online!), and he has shared a number of entertaining stories with me from his various job interviews.  While I enjoyed the one about the executive who was drinking scotch (while interviewing my brother in his office during the afternoon), my favorite story revolves around one of the most bizarre questions I have ever heard in an interview setting.

Recently, my brother was asked, “If I told you to prepare 50 BLT’s, how would you do it?”  Since he was interviewing for a corporate sales job (and not a position at McDonald’s), he was understandably caught off-guard.  However, he answered by discussing how he would line up all the ingredients in an assembly line in order to be efficient.

This was a decent answer, but he could have done better. 

What I recommended in any situation where you are asked how to do something (especially when the “task” is not connected to the job you are applying for) is to remain calm, and then to ask the interviewer several questions before you answer.  This takes the pressure off you and shows your thought process.  For example, he could have asked the following questions (before formulating his answer):

1. How much time do I have to make the BLT’s?

2. What type of resources (i.e. help or equipment) do I have to make the BLT’s?

3. Who am I making the BLT’s for?

4. Would you like fries or shakes with that?  (A little humor is always a good thing…)

I guarantee that the interviewer had not prepared answers in advance to any of these questions, so it would have been fun to turn the tables and see him squirm.  However, the main reason for asking these questions is to demonstrate your curiosity, attention to detail, and creativity in solving problems. 

In summary, when presented with a weird interview question, use the “Triple-C approach” and be calm, confident, and curious.  The interviewer just wants to see how you react in an uncomfortable situation and how you think when presented with a challenge.

Good luck!

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Award-Winning Career Expert and College Speaker

Explore posts in the same categories: Get Your Dream Job NOW, Interviews, Job Search Made Easy

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